Staghorn fern wilting is rather an unusual sight with these resilient plants! If you frequently notice your Staghorn leaves appearing limp and drooping, it’s important to understand the underlying causes and learn how to prevent or manage this issue to maintain the plant’s beauty.Staghorn Fern Wilting

And we’re here to help you out, so continue reading to know the best ways to tackle this.

Why Is Your Staghorn Fern Wilting?

Your Staghorn fern is wilting because it is facing watering issues, as well as humidity issues. In addition, wilting is also caused by having lighting concerns or being weak from nutritional problems, and lastly, it can be facing pests and diseases.

While brown and dried antlers may be considered dead, it’s important to note that there is hope for reviving your plant if the leaves are still green but wilting. A drooping fern doesn’t necessarily mean a dying staghorn fern; it can be revived depending on its current condition.

The issue of limp and drooping basal fronds can stem from various neglectful practices, such as overwatering or underwatering. Insufficient watering can lead to dehydration and dry soil, while excessive watering can cause poor aeration and suffocate the plant. In these situations, the roots of your fern may struggle to absorb and distribute moisture effectively.

– Watering Issues

Root rot poses a significant threat to plants; they cannot tolerate constantly soaking in water. It is crucial to avoid overwatering your staghorn, as it can lead to various issues. Refrain from excessive watering to prevent these problems from arising.

On the other hand, when the plant has been watered less than what it needs, this can be equally detrimental. Your plant requires regular hydration to survive, so be sure to provide it with occasional watering. If your staghorn fern appears dry and brittle, it clearly indicates that it needs water to ensure its survival, even when the tips begin to look as such.Causes of Aphids on Plants 1

– Humidity Issues

Staghorn Fern leaves possess the remarkable ability to absorb water from the soil and the mist in the air. When the humidity levels are low, the plant experiences excessive water loss through transpiration and respiration. This leads to the drooping of your plant, especially, when it is less than 50 percent.

– Lighting Concerns

Proper lighting plays a crucial role in influencing a plant’s metabolism, growth, and overall behavior. It is vital to ensure appropriate lighting conditions for the staghorn fern. In such a manner, you will see that these ferns thrive in moderate indirect light, so direct sunlight or dim environments may adversely affect them.

The placement of your plant is of utmost importance. The plant should sit in a spot where it receives adequate sunlight while maintaining optimal humidity.

Avoid exposing it to scorching heat, which can lead to additional issues. Therefore, when you lack picking a location that provides intermediate lighting, such as a window or diffused light, it is a bad environment for your staghorn fern.

– Nutrient Issues

While hydration and humidity issues are commonly known causes of limp and drooping leaves, it’s important not to overlook the role of nutrient imbalance in the health of your indoor plants. Proper nutrition is essential for your fern’s well-being, and when this plant lacks such a need, it will start to weaken and look strange.

When your fern lacks sufficient nutrients, it can become weak and eventually start drooping. You will also see that when there is no balance and a timely supply of nutrients is very challenging to maintain its vitality and to start seeing the leaves drooping.

– Pest and Diseases

Insects like aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects can infest the fern, sucking sap from the leaves. Spider mites can create tiny webs and feed on the plant’s tissues, further compromising its health.

Certain fungal diseases, such as leaf spots, can affect Staghorn Ferns. These occur when the plant’s roots are continuously exposed to excess moisture. This impairs the fern’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, resulting in wilted leaves. Leaf spot diseases have leaves turning brown and spotting on the foliage, which can cause the plant to droop.

Bacterial infections can also cause wilting and drooping in Staghorn Ferns. These infections often manifest as dark, watery lesions on the leaves. As the bacteria spread, they can disrupt the plant’s vascular system, hindering water and nutrient uptake.

How To Save Your Staghorn Fern When They Wilt?

To save your staghorn fern when they wilt is to water them in the right way, and to start appropriately feeding them. You should try to fix the lighting needs of the fern to prevent them from wilting, as well as fighting the pests and diseases, and increase the humidity.Fix Curling Leaves of Plants

– Water Management

To address the lack of watering as an issue in your plant care regime, provide your plant with an increased water supply. You can achieve this by watering more frequently, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist.

In addition, misting helps replenish moisture and is particularly beneficial for plants experiencing less water than they need when you see the plant wilting. Additionally, you can soak your fern in a water basin for approximately 15 minutes, ensuring the roots are fully saturated before allowing the plant to drip dry and rehang.

If your plant is suffering from overwatering, it’s important to stop watering to allow the soil to dry out temporarily. This will help prevent further waterlogging and promote root health. You must now check for any signs of rotting roots, which can occur in overwatered plants. If root rot is present, treat it accordingly by pruning away the infected roots and propagating the remaining healthy portion.

Having the right soil moisture meter can be a smart solution for underwater and overwatering problems. This tool will help you to monitor the moisture levels in the soil accurately, helping you establish an optimal watering schedule for your plant, and it will begin to look strong again.

– Give Some Feed

You can achieve nutrient balance by providing a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10, with which it will have the right amount of nutrients coming from its roots. Sprinkling the fertilizer on sphagnum moss and applying it to the growth medium is recommended, as it allows for a slow and long-lasting release of nutrients into the soil, providing sustained nourishment to the fern.

Since ferns prefer acidic soil, using a water-soluble fern-specific fertilizer can help create an environment closer to their natural habitat. Remember to dilute the fertilizer as instructed on the packaging before applying it to avoid having the plant build up with fertilization, as this may cause it to start burning its leaves.

In addition to commercial fertilizers, you can also consider incorporating organic matter into the soil. Banana peels, for example, are rich sources of phosphorus and potassium, if you want an organic choice. You may go ahead and start placing banana peels under the plants allows them to decompose and provide beneficial organic matter, supplying additional nutrients to the fern.

– Fix Lighting

Instead of keeping your fern in a dimly lit corner, gradually relocate it to a brighter spot with appropriate lighting. However, be cautious not to expose it to excessively bright and intense sunlight, which can cause damage. Instead, choose a location with bright, diffused light. Placing your fern near a south or east-facing window can provide the right amount of light exposure.

To promote even growth, periodically rotate your plant. In cases where natural sunlight is limited, staghorn ferns grow amazingly well under artificial lights to ensure your Staghorn Fern receives adequate light for its growth and well-being.

– Fight Pests and Diseases

The initial and crucial step in dealing with pests and diseases in your fern is promptly isolating the affected plant. This helps prevent the spread of infestation to other plants in the section where they may be located.

If possible, carefully prune and remove the infected parts of the plant. This will help you control the spread of diseases. Using a general fungicide can be effective, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Avoid overwatering and excessive humidity, as these conditions can create a favorable environment for diseases. Maintain proper moisture levels and ventilation to discourage their growth.

Regular monitoring is essential in managing pests. A solution of soapy water can be used to control insect infestations. Consider using neem oil as a treatment and preventive measure. Neem oil is an organic insecticidal that can help with pest control.Wilting Fern Care

– Increase Humidity

To create a suitable environment for your Staghorn Fern, you should the humidity level to around 70 to 80 percent. A humidifier can disperse fine water droplets in the air and raise the humidity.

Aim for a temperature range of approximately 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit to provide optimal growing conditions for your fern. Using materials like sphagnum moss or coco-pit in the potting mix can help retain moisture. These have good water-holding capacity, keeping the soil adequately moist.

Another DIY method to overcome low humidity is by using pebble trays. Fill a tray with some pebbles and add water, and as the evaporating water will create a humid microclimate around the plant.

Occasional water spraying directly on the fern’s antler fronds can temporarily boost humidity. Use a fine misting spray tip to mist the leaves lightly, and be keen not to saturate them. By implementing these methods, you can effectively increase and maintain the humidity level around your Staghorn Fern, promoting its health and vitality.


Staghorn fern wilting can be a distressing sight for plant lovers, but with the right knowledge and care, it is possible to revive and maintain the beauty of these resilient plants.  Let’s see how to keep your fern healthy and kicking with this effective staghorn fern care guide:

  • Understanding the causes of wilting, such as watering issues, humidity imbalances, lighting concerns, nutrient deficiencies, and pest and disease infestations, is crucial in developing a comprehensive salvation guide.
  • Proper watering management is essential, striking a balance between underwatering and overwatering.
  • Increasing the water supply through more frequent watering, misting, and soaking the fern in a water basin can address underwatering issues.
  • Providing the right nutrients is vital for the fern’s health. Using a balanced fertilizer, applying it to sphagnum moss for slow-release, and considering fern-specific water-soluble fertilizers contribute to a nutrient-rich soil.
  • Dealing with pests and diseases involves timely isolation, pruning infected parts, using fungicides and insecticides, and regular monitoring. Proper humidity maintenance, using humidifiers, pebble trays, and occasional water spraying, is crucial for the fern’s health.

By implementing these measures, including maintaining appropriate temperature and lighting conditions, you can effectively address the causes of staghorn fern wilting and ensure the plant’s vitality.

5/5 - (17 votes)
Evergreen Seeds